Update (2/2/2019): If you’re not satisfied with the substitute CRM options, go for our SugarCRM upgrade services. A comprehensive process that analyzes your current implementation and proposes a Sugar Upgrade or Sugar Migration for your business based on your needs and requirements.
Update (4/9/2018): Sugar CE is no longer available for download.
(However, don’t panic. Going for a paid-version isn’t your only option. Find what you can do post Sugar CE here in SugarCRM Community Edition End of Life. There are a number of free CRM options that you can use to keep your business afloat.)
SugarCRM Community Edition, also known as Sugar CE is the open-source CRM edition provided by SugarCRM and is still among the most popular SugarCRM editions. SugarCRM Community Edition 6.5 was the latest version of Sugar CE after which Sugar switched to a paid hosted environment. But that is nothing to worry about. Sugar CE is still fully operational.
We have compiled everything you need to know about the Community Edition of Sugar including all of its exciting features. We also discuss its limitations and ways for it to suit your needs.
SugarCRM Community Edition Installation Guide
Installing your Sugar CE 6.5x is as easy as it can get. You only need to follow these 6 steps to get your Sugar CE up and running.
- First, you will need to install either the Linux, Mac, Windows version of PHP, web server, and the database, depending on your requirements.
- Secondly, you need to download the Sugar files.
- The third step involves copying the Sugar files to your web server.
- Then you navigate to the php.ini file which is located in your Sugar root directory and set the variables_order parameter to EGPCS.
- Then you need to restart your web server.
- Lastly, you need to install the Sugar Community Edition with the Sugar Setup Wizard.
Features of SugarCRM Community Edition
There are many features of Sugar CE that compelled others to come up with fork versions of it. For example, the latest fork version of Sugar community edition 6.5 was SuiteCRM springing up back in 2013 with their open source CRM. Vtiger CRM and SarvCRM are other fork versions of the Community Edition.
The features that make Sugar CE stand out from other open-source CRM are:
- The flexibility of the community edition
- The code structure of the latest editions of Sugar including professional is the same as the Community Edition. That makes it easy to make a switch later.
- The users own the CRM completely; this includes the hosting, the source code, the upgrades as well as support.
- Multiple hosting options including on-demand, on-premise, and private cloud.
- It remains easily customizable
- Sugar CE is a mobile capable CRM.
The limitations of SugarCRM Community Edition
Yes, there is no doubt Sugar CE does not provide the same level of capabilities as provided by the Professional and Enterprise versions. There have not been any updates since Sugar 7 was released in 2013 and trust me the depth of CRM functionality has surpassed all expectations since then. Today CRM solutions are working on Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to get advanced customer insights and buyer trends in order to stay on top of things
On Sales side
Functionalities like Sales forecasting, Customizable workflows, and opportunity tracking/management are missing in the community edition of Sugar
On Marketing side
While Sugar CE provides all marketing integrations including Hubspot, Marketo, Act-on, capabilities like managing marketing campaigns and marketing reports are missing.
On Support Side
Bug tracking, Call center, and knowledge base which make exceptional customer service possible in the paid versions are absent in the Community Edition.
Multiple integrations (including Google Docs, MS Word & Excel) which SugarCRM provides in the paid versions are absent in the CE. That does not mean that you cannot integrate these platforms with Sugar CE.
The latest reporting functionalities are absent in the SugarCRM community edition but Customizable Dashboards are present.
How to get the most potential out of your SugarCRM Community Edition
SugarCRM CE can be as effective a tool as you need it to be. It can manage client relationships, grow your revenue, make your sales strategies more effective and give you the best marketing capabilities and delight your existing customers.
SugarCRM Community Edition Customization
The default version of SugarCRM CE might not give you the best output as it doesn’t recognize your specific needs and requirements. But you can always customize SugarCRM CE in order to make it fit your organization’s needs like a glove, giving you the best return on your investment.
Clients who have customized the community edition of SugarCRM have always reported the same satisfaction with their solution as paid versions. The most popular customizations of Sugar Community among others include:
- Custom Modules
- Custom Reports
- User Interface
- Custom Relations
- Custom Fields
- Rules Implementation
Look here for more info on SugarCRM Customization
Sugar CE Integration
SugarCRM CE does not provide the integrations that are available for paid versions like Microsoft Office and Google Docs. As mentioned above this does not mean that the Sugar CE cannot be integrated with multiple useful platforms.
SugarCRM Integration with other platforms makes your Sugar CE much more efficient as now the redundant data entry is easily avoidable.
Key Takeaway about Sugar CE
SugarCRM Community Edition is one of the most popular open-source Free CRM which caters to the needs of millions of businesses worldwide. After all, there is a reason why SugarCRM still provides this version in the hope that many organizations will later switch to paid hosted versions. But there is a way to get the most potential out of SugarCRM CE. While there are no new updates on Sugar CE it does not mean that it should remain outdated with its default capabilities.
A great number of organizations have reported that Customizing and Integrating SugarCRM CE with third-party platforms (like Gmail, QuickBooks & Twilio to name a few) increases the depth as well as the breadth of its capabilities, and makes it the most responsive Open-source CRM to date.
Read more about SugarCRM 7, the successor to Sugar CE.
Rolustech is a Certified SugarCRM Partner and has a decade of experience with SugarCRM and has helped more than 700 firms with various SugarCRM customization and integrations. Get in touch for a FREE Business Analysis now!